The purpose of the Sexual Violence Action Committee (SVAC) is to provide leadership, coordination and a unified voice on issues of sexual violence in southwestern Alberta. The following organizations are SVAC partners:
Collaboration, sharing information, raising public awareness regarding the community impacts of sexual violence, addressing partner-specific concerns and shortcomings in process, and arranging training opportunities.
Criminal Investigation Division
SVAC is primarily a consultative committee.
SVAC was established in 2004.
The initiative was undertaken to enhance public awareness and knowledge of sexual violence, and to provide a collaborative community response to sexual violence.
There were no material costs to establishing SVAC. There have been training costs covered by Lethbridge Family Services (LFS) and in-kind financial assistance. Child-interview training cost about $10,000 and was largely covered by a grant; first-responders training was provided by staff from agencies that are SVAC members, and costs were nominal; the training with the SART doctors and pediatricians was hosted by LRPS, and the costs were soft-dollar only. Most of the costs of training were covered by LFS, as some LFS funding from the province is allocated for the area of education regarding sexual violence. Other SVAC member organizations provided in-kind financial assistance. The primary non-financial resource required is the continuous commitment and attendance of a representative from each agency.
The committee was spun off from the Domestic Violence Action Committee in recognition of sexual-violence issues as distinct from family violence.
Ongoing positive relationships have been established amongst the partners who have an interest in matters of sexual assault. Training, education and public awareness have been beneficial to partner agencies and the general public. Membership on SVAC has increased since 2004, as other stakeholders realize the importance of collaborative work.
SVAC maintains a website which can be fount at www.svaclethbridge.org.
In the last year, two training sessions with the SART doctors and pediatricians were held with respect to medical examinations, evidence collection and witness testimony.
Through SVAC, frontline responders from various disciplines have been trained. Training has also been provided to the SART doctors and pediatricians in Lethbridge.